While listening to the news shows yesterday, I was hearing all the stories from people on political ads talking about how they lost their jobs when Bain Corporation took their companies over. For those who are confused about how Mitt Romney can claim creating new jobs through Bain, while many were losing their jobs, I thought I’d throw an analogy out here so you can understand better.
We the people love our entertainment, and our celebrities. And many of you get your stories from the late-night shows. So I am sure a lot of you have seen the movie “Pretty Woman” with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
If you remember, Richard hires Julia for a week to be his companion at functions he needs to attend on behalf of his company, which is a holding company, much like Bain Corporation. His company goes in and buys companies that are failing, or at least not making much money, and then he takes them apart and turns them into smaller companies, firing the employees of the big companies along the way. The smaller companies then start to make money, hire their own personnel (thus new jobs), and then who knows, go off into the sunset. In the meantime, the holding company that bought the original company at a lower-than average price because of its failings, takes its money off the top from reselling the broken apart companies, and leaves it in the hands of the people who bought those smaller companies. The holding company couldn’t care less about what happens to those smaller companies after they’ve taken their profits off the top. They walk away. Sometimes those larger companies are raided and bought against the owner’s will, which was the story of Pretty Woman, and of course, the fuzzy warm feeling you got when Gere’s character was changed by the actions of a pretty call girl. It was just a movie.
But, this is the sort of company Bain Corporation is. Whether or not Mitt Romney still has his fingers in the pie or not (he says not, but we know him for a liar, and he is refusing to meet with news people to talk about how he made his money, as I write this), some of his millions were made by doing this very thing – buying up troubled companies, tearing them apart, taking away jobs, and then selling the smaller companies off for high premiums, pocketing the money, and then walking away to let the new owner fend for himself, hiring people, taking the new smaller business to new heights, or possibly new lows. Who knows?
Just be aware that while you are listening to ads from the Romney campaign talking about all the jobs “he” has provided, the real truth is not nearly so rosy. At the same time, remember that while jobs in government were lost because of the House No-Repubs, and jobs are not being funded for government, particularly in the infrastructure of this country (remember those bridges you drive across that could end up like the one near Minneapolis-St. Paul, or the pothole that destroyed your last expensive tire), or in helping pay for training for the new manufacturing jobs which many would be happy to have that are now left wanting for lack of personnel, private industry is thriving under President Obama, and many jobs have been opened. Remember the women’s group that Romney did a speech in front of, trying to make it appear that women like him, but was a group that established a company of women, run by women, which is thriving, all under Obama’s watch.
Don’t let the ads fool you. If you don’t want to take time to pay attention to what is really happening, let the movies like Dave or Pretty Woman show you what reality is, even if in a fantasy world. Or let one like Wall Street teach you what the men at the top are really like. Don’t forget companies like Enron, under GWB’s watch, or what is happening to your money with JP Morgan Chase right now, a bank that was bailed out by GWB’s Congress. And do think about what President Obama did for the automotive business when the government LOANED them the money to bail themselves out, and which is being paid back, with interest, with thousands of jobs saved.
Pay attention, especially if you are an independent, or swing, voter who has not yet made up his or her mind on who you will vote for.
And my own gentle nudge here: remember to think about who the First Lady will be – one who buys her and her girls’ clothes at chain stores, or one who buys $990 tee-shirts. There was only one Jackie Kennedy, and we loved her designer clothes because she was Jackie (not so much Nancy Reagan), and while we might love Michelle Obama if she bought designer clothes, I think we appreciate her much more because she doesn’t.
Just pay attention.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX